Perceived physical competence is considered to be a central determinant of behaviours related to physical activity (Babic et al., 2014). In combination with the importance people attribute to different physical self-domains, perceived physical competence is a stronger predictor of general self-esteem (Lindwall, Aşçi, Palmeira, Fox, & Hagger, 2011). Physical self-concept is related to fitness measures, with similar relations in genders (Marsh, 2007). This study analyzed the relationships among physical selfperception (sport competence, physical condition, physical appearance, physical strength, physical self-concept, and selfesteem), the perceived importance of physical self-domains, and aerobic capacity in a sample of high school students. Differences by gender and participation in physical activity were assessed. Participants were 140 students (M = 66; F = 74), between 14 and 21 years of age (M = 16.36; SD = 1.726) attending an Italian high school. The Italian version of the Revised Physical Self Perception Profile (PSPP-R, Lindwall, Aşçi, & Hagger, 2011) and the Perceived Importance Profile (PIP, Lindwall et al., 2011) were administered. The students’ aerobic capacity was evaluated with a 20 Meter Shuttle Run Test (Leger et al., 1988). Students were grouped by gender and by participation in physical activity (PA participantsand non-PA participants). Non-PA participants students accounted for 45% of the overall sample (girls accounted for 60.8% of non-PA participants, boys for 27.3%). The MANOVA (2x2) showed significant differences in the observed variables with respect to gender (Wilk’s λ = .459 F = 12.286 p < .001 η2 = .541) and to participation in physical activity (Wilk’s λ = .772 F = 3.078 p = .001 η2 = .228), whereas there was not a significant gender x PA participation group interaction. The one-way ANOVA showed significant differences, with higher means in males, in perceived sport competence, physical condition, and strength, in the importance of sport competence and the importance of strength, and in the Shuttle Run Test scores. In females, means of the importance of physical appearance and the importance of physical self-concept were significantly higher than in males. With respect to the participation in physical activity, means of PA participants were significantly higher than non-PA participants in perceived sports competence, physical condition, and strength, in the importance assigned to these domains and to physical self-concept, and in the Shuttle Run Test scores. Results provide additional information on the importance of physical self-domains related to the physical activity participation. Differences between the results in the present study compared with previous studies are discussed. We make suggestions for teachers and educators on differentiation of activities between genders in adolescence.
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